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E-Book Lending at Libraries

E-Book Lending at Libraries

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Kindle is an e-book reader. has launched a Kindle library-lending service in the United States. Millions of users can now borrow Kindle books from their local public library.

Experts say this is likely to reopen a debate between publishers and libraries over e-book lending.

Bill Rosenblatt is president of Giant Steps Media Technology Strategies, a consulting company.

“Publishers and libraries are enemies that occur in nature like snakes and mongese [mongooses]. Libraries would like to be able to make books available to everyone, all the time, with no limitations. And publishers, of course, would like to sell more books to the public.”

Mr. Rosenblatt says the debate in the United States centers on the law of first sale. This means that once you buy a media product such as a book or a CD or a DVD, you can do whatever you want with it. You can read it, you can resell it, or you can even destroy it!

This law allows libraries to lend books over and over again without having to pay publishers each time. But Bill Rosenblatt points out that this law does not include digital products. Technology can make e-books unreadable when they reach a certain time or user limit.

He says the debate over e-book lending will likely end up in court.